A Nightmare on Kombat Street: When Movies and Games Collide
Stop whatever it is you’re doing and close all other browser tabs. Movies and games have collided again, but this time, it’s going to change the way we perceive modern media—forever! Pretty much!
Here’s the headline, straight from USA Today:
The Next ‘Mortal Kombat’ Brawler: Freddy Krueger
It’s okay. I didn’t believe it at first either, but this is legit. This is for real! This is the piece of news that the world has been waiting for with feverish anticipation, and now that it’s finally in print, we can let the tears of joy stream down our cheeks in rivulets of nostalgic bliss. I already have—and honestly, my tears have never tasted better.
Before I relay any useful information though, please allow the following Photoshop image to illustrate how revolutionary this news really is:
Yeah, that’s gonna happen! Thanks to astonishing ingenuity on the part of Warner Bros. Games (who released the latest Mortal Kombat game just a few months ago), MK devotees will finally be able to pit Sub-Zero against horror movie icon Freddy Krueger. He’ll be available to download on August 9th.
Sure, it’s an amazingly generous thing to do, but why the generosity? More importantly, why Freddy?
Remember when this was scary?
Plenty of games have been made into movies in the past, and plenty of movies have been made into games, but it’s pretty rare to see a single movie character appear in a game. In truth, there hasn’t even been much of a demand for Freddy Krueger since the days of Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, the highest grossing entry in that franchise. Since that time, Freddy’s popularity among moviegoers has been on a steady decline.
The popularity of Mortal Kombat has faded over the last several years as well. The original game was a runaway hit among arcade-goers in the early-90s and managed to stir its fair share of controversy for its violent gameplay, but in the twenty or so years that followed, gamers all but forgot about the edgy and innovative style that gave Mortal Kombat such a distinct appeal. That is, until earlier this year, when a new game and web series brought MK back from near-pop culture oblivion.
Looks like Mortal Kombat got its fans back!
Now, thankfully, Mortal Kombat is enjoying a renewed interest among modern gamers. In fact, gamers are paying mightily to enjoy it. There are a total of 28 playable characters in the game, but players also have the option to download additional characters at $4.99 apiece. There are four additional characters to choose from, including Freddy, so it’ll cost roughly $20 to own them all. The game itself retails at $49.99, by the way. That’s a lot of cold hard cash to shell out just to enjoy everything that a particular game has to offer, but the gamers are apparently willing to pony up, so maybe it’s not all that surprising that the developers are willing to throw such an interesting new fighter into the mix.
Since many fans of the newest Mortal Kombat game were around when the original game was in its heyday, and since many of those fans would have been familiar with Freddy while he was still popular, maybe it’s just a matter of putting two and two together. Plus, violence begets violence, so Freddy’s sort of a perfect fit for the game anyway. In any case, it’ll be two nostalgic indulgences rolled into one. And as we all know, nostalgia has a way of facilitating our indulgent purchases, so maybe that’s as far as we need to look into it.
When it comes to "Kombat," brutality is just part of the brand image!
Then again, part of any good game developer’s job is to ensure that players remain interested in the game long after it’s been released and that they remain satisfied with their purchase long after they’ve made it. The new Mortal Kombat game came out in mid-April of this year, a mere four months ago, but Kreuger will already be the fourth downloadable player to grace the game since then. Not a bad way to incentivize brand loyalty among players, is it? And what’s better than seeing our favorite brands “wow” us in unexpected ways from time to time? Not much, that’s for sure.
Now, if only they’d add a few more horror icons to the mix, we’d have a movie-to-game crossover to end them all!
Agree? Disagree? Post your feedback in the comments below and feel free to name your favorite Mortal Kombat character when you do!
Image sources: Kantenflimmern, Jaradcel, SobControllers, Double Feature Podcast, and popculturegeek.com